Idiom Matching Activities

Previously we have discussed the benefits of teaching our children Chinese idioms.  Here, we have a few activities that might help your children learn as well as remember some easy Chinese idioms.

If you’re like many of our parents, you may be at a loss as to which idioms are child-friendly and easy to remember. All the examples used in these activities were taken from our 5 Book Idiom Set. The idioms are simple enough concepts for small children to understand, introduced with a tiny story, and have a funny joke to reinforce the meaning of the idiom.


With these activities, we hope to provide some examples of how to introduce idioms to your children, as well as help them remember the actual idioms (if not the meaning).

Chinese Idiom Activity 1: What do you think it means? (age 5+)


1. Say/show the idiom.
2. Ask your child if they understand all the words in the idiom. If not, explain what each word means without giving away the meaning of the idiom.
3. Ask your child to guess what they think the idiom means. Ask why they think so.
4. Explain the actual meaning of the idiom and why. Include a story if possible (from the Idiom Set) or point out ways your child got close to the meaning.
5. Ask your child to come up with situations where the idiom would apply.

Your kids will likely come up with strange or fanciful ideas or stories regarding what they think the idioms mean. They will more than likely be wrong - but you never know. The point of the activity is to engage them in the phrase, asking them to examine the words and interpret the meaning into something that makes sense to your child.

Then after they have come up with some possible explanations, your explanation may sink in a little more. Asking them to come up with situations that would apply to the idiom is further helping their comprehension and helping them build connections in their brain.

What do you think it means?

Chinese Idiom Activity 2: Matching Idioms (age 3+)


- Idiom Set
- Pens, Pencils
- Paper


- Write half an idiom on one strip of paper and the other half on another.
- Do this for 2-6 idioms.


1. Read out all the different idioms and explain what they mean.
2. Mix up all the pieces.
3. Have your child place the matching idiom pieces together.

Alternative Ways to Play: To make the game easier, you can use fewer idioms as well as separate the first and second halves of the idioms so that your child only has to figure out which halves go together instead of mixing them all up.

Matching Idioms Activity

Here are a few examples of Chinese idioms used in the videos.


For the more advanced children

Please check out our Chinese Idioms Crossword Puzzle post which challenges and expands your child's knowledge on idioms, all based on one idiom. Sample solutions together with English explanation are included for free download, in both traditional and simplified Chinese versions.


Setbacks are normal.

Learning new skills is rarely a straight line. It is more like a frenzied zig zag with no rhyme or reason. Sometimes, your child will seem to be bounding forward by leaps and bounds. Other times, it seems your child has regressed and forgotten everything you have ever taught them.

Don’t worry. It’s completely expected.

Many times, developmentally, some skill your child used to have perfectly will waver as they are processing another skill. Give your child a few more weeks and they will likely be back to the way they were prior to the setback. In fact, they might be even more developed!

Have these tips been helpful? We’d love to hear from you in our Facebook Group and we hope to see you there.